David  Dunbar Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

David Dunbar

Research Administrator and Independent Scholar
Ex. Universities of Liverpool and Cambridge

David Dunbar has held Department Administrator posts at the University of Liverpool, University of Oxford and University of Cambridge and completed an MBA at the University of Edinburgh since 1989, following a research MSc in Liverpool and NHS Medical Laboratory posts in London and Manchester.

Biography

The book and articles are an attempt to stimulate wider discussion on how we create the best motivational climate and culture for university staff, at all levels, to be able to work to the best of their ability. From the middle-level administrative manager perspective, with experience of three universities and some relevant management observations in the NHS, I endeavoure to lay out a significant and varied group of expert views and study reports in order to provoke a much-needed re-think on management behaviour.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Highlighting the impact of a range of positive and negative personnel management approaches, as identified by cross-sector studies, individual management thinkers, academics, coaches and HR professionals, and personal experience.
    Staff in universities should periodically review how they would like to be managed in comparison to the approach taken by their current or prospective management teams.

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - Management Behaviours in Higher Education Dunbar - 1st Edition book cover

Articles

LinkedIn

Short Article- What kind of managers do we want?


Published: Apr 01, 2021 by LinkedIn
Authors: David Dunbar
Subjects: Education, Business, Management and Accounting

There are many unhappy, even distraught employees, who are treated rudely, condescendingly, expected to maintain full commitment, have few meaningful interactions with their boss, are not valued, or have to suffer irritability from their manager if they are off ill etc. I would like a role in which I was invited by employees needing help with addressing such behaviour, to meet their employer. Examples of these situations from different sectors are discussed.

LinkedIn

Short Article- Management communication is like eating a Scone (it needs butter, jam and a quality coffee)


Published: Mar 25, 2021 by LinkedIn
Authors: David Dunbar
Subjects: Education, Business, Management and Accounting

Try to eat a plain, dry scone and after a couple of mouthfuls, and considerable chewing, the interest and motivation to eat is seriously diminished and you need a drink. Likewise with the staff communication aspect of leadership and management- if your communication with your staff is bland and boring, what can you expect in response but apprehension, lack of enthusiasm and, perhaps, lack of motivation. Communicate your reasoning, why you are enthusiastic about developments, be open and honest.

LinkedIn

Short Article- Staff management in the Creative Industries has relevance for HE and the NHS


Published: Mar 18, 2021 by LinkedIn
Authors: David Dunbar
Subjects: Education, Business, Management and Accounting

In assessing what constitutes beneficial staff management, it is useful to look at some reported considerations for managing creative employees, appropriate for HE staff. Brief examples are taken from the literature from two software company entrepreneurs and a music business study, plus some initial observations on management in the world of TV programming. A final comment on an important aspect of the supportive culture for creative employees is made.

LinkedIn

Short Article- The perception of management by staff in university and hospital departments.


Published: Mar 12, 2021 by LinkedIn
Authors: David Dunbar
Subjects: Education, Business, Management and Accounting

Academics and clinical staff in the departments who provide the teaching, carry out the research and patient treatment, often, along with other non-management staff perceive management to be based on central offices' titles, apparent authority, otherness and authoritative-sounding personnel. Understanding the psychological contract, communicating vision, empathy, fairness, support and psychological security, openness, civility and the valuing of staff is vital for all managers.

LinkedIn

Short Article- Department/Section/School/ Clinical Heads and Research Group Leaders are people managers too, if not by name.


Published: Mar 04, 2021 by LinkedIn
Authors: David Dunbar
Subjects: Education, Business, Management and Accounting

Academics are the most interesting and entertaining individuals to work alongside. Because of the limited time available between academic responsibilities, they demand concentration, make life challenging and, through their dedication to, and enjoyment of, their own speciality, by example, encourage you to work harder and longer for the institution. However, some academics give the impression of superiority, and sometimes arrogance alongside doubt as to whether you will understand their plight.

LinkedIn

Short Article- Poor Management Practice?- Real Life Example 1- An NHS Trust


Published: Feb 25, 2021 by LinkedIn
Authors: David Dunbar
Subjects: Education, Business, Management and Accounting

The first of a collection of real-life staff management practice examples- a battle with a local NHS Trust over the treatment of a long-standing employee. Staff rightly expect managers to communicate positively with them, treat them fairly, be supportive and encouraging and be there to provide help. Otherwise they will not be so keen to do likewise with you, your organisation will not run as smoothly, staff turnover will be higher and productivity will be lower than they could and should be.

LinkedIn

Short Article- Do your Organisation's Leaders/Managers Value their colleagues?


Published: Feb 18, 2021 by LinkedIn
Authors: David Dunbar
Subjects: Education, Business, Management and Accounting

Managers need to understand that they can and should value individuals and their contribution, and that their employees value and believe in themselves. Staff should feel safe when discussing issues, making suggestions, asking questions, trying out ideas, alongside their daily work schedules. They then experience more autonomy, competence, connectedness with you and other colleagues. But why are many university and other sector working environments over-competitive, confrontational, distrustful?

LinkedIn

Short Article- People management- Do we need a re-think on acceptable staff:management interaction?


Published: Feb 12, 2021 by LinkedIn
Authors: David Dunbar
Subjects: Education, Business, Management and Accounting

The daily responsibility of interacting with and 'managing' staff- of informing, responding, supporting, of collaborating, liaising, making decisions, assessing issues etc. is not easy. However, you need not ask or read very far or wide to hear and see stories of very poor treatment of staff by their supervisors/managers.

Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education

Can university senior managers take lessons from sports coaching?


Published: Nov 22, 2018 by Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education
Authors: David Dunbar
Subjects: Education, Business, Management and Accounting

Distinct similarities exist between elite athletes and academics and management/leadership studies often take examples from sport. This article considers the benefits resulting from sports coach management in terms of the motivational climate, approach, interactions, and technique for performance improvement. These behaviours are compared to published academics’ views and lessons from HE and general business leadership studies and perspectives from a cross-section of literature.

Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education

Widening the discussion on HE leadership – leader dispositions and talents


Published: May 09, 2016 by Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education
Authors:
Subjects: Education, Business, Management and Accounting

Inherent personal leader qualities and dispositions, assumptions about leadership in our universities and staff surveys results are considered. These important aspects of university leadership and satisfaction pointers gathered from HE leader/academic views, study findings and surveys, are discussed, suggesting dispositions and talents those in leadership positions should demonstrate in providing the right environment for staff.

Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education

Communication – putting the manners (back) into management


Published: Aug 14, 2014 by Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education
Authors: David Dunbar
Subjects: Education, Business, Management and Accounting

Aspects of leadership responsibility, behaviour and interaction between manager and managed, such as open communication, fairness, transparency, humility and emotional competence, are described in terms of management ‘manners’. Staff survey data is supported by well-rehearsed management thinking and expert advice higher education, general management fields and personal experience. The positive effect good manners have on staff are outlined and further areas for development/review suggested.